Rainbow skink

These colourful little creatures can be found on open desert and rocky hills in east Africa, Kenya and central and south east Tanzania.

And boy do they love to sunbathe!

It’s called basking and they do it for a reason, not just to catch a tan. In fact, it’s an important part of their daily routine. Skinks are cold blooded, that means that unlike us, they can’t generate their own body heat. They need to sit in the sun and warm up to get everything inside their body working properly. When basking they like to lie at right angles to the sun so the whole of their body feels the benefit of the sun’s warming rays.

Males and females look very different. Adult males have a bronze and turquoise body with small speckles of white whereas females and young skinks have a dark brown to black body with three creamy yellow stripes running from their head to their tail.

You’ll find our skinks in Kifaru Reserve alongside our rhino.

Rainbow skink questions and answers

What do skinks eat?
A range of insects. They’ve also been known to attack smaller lizards.

How long do skinks live?
Up to six years.

Do the females only lay one batch off eggs?
No, they can lay eggs twice during a season.

Zoo Membership

We're proud to be members of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA). Our membership means we share knowledge with leading zoos across the UK and Europe, and we learn from them too.